200 years seems like a short time to me: 4 generations, or nearly 4 of my lifetimes. My grandmother’s grandfather was born 200 years ago, on land in Pennsylvania that his ancestors moved onto without permission from the people who had been using it for centuries.
My grandmother’s grandfather
October 15, 2013, the US Supreme Court declined to hear the Onondaga Nation’s request for us to honor the treaties that my European ancestors made with them 200 years ago. They said that the Onondagas waited too long before filing the petition, yet it was only just recently that US law allowed the Onondagas to bring their case to court!
I don’t see what harm would come from granting the Onondaga Nation the request. They are simply asking for us to live in harmony, side-by-side, as my ancestors promised to do when they arrived. In the petition to the courts, they asked us to clean up the land and water that we destroyed, and that we all rely on for our livelihood. The court replied that this would be too disrupting.
I feel indebted to the original settlers of this land, for the abundance that I have. I owe it to them to use this land respectfully. I don’t think that honoring the treaties is asking too much. I honor them as I care for the land and water around my part of the globe.
You can read the original treaties
April 7, 2014: See the update on this issue